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Discussion regarding only Central American Cichlid species. (Guapotes, Jack Dempseys, Red Devils, Firemouths, Convicts, Texas Cichlids, etc.)
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Firemouth growth rate

Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:53 am

I saw a youtube video that said firemouths grow slowly, but is it normal for them to grow at a significantly slower rate than other cichlids?

In 8 months my convict is about 5 times the size it was when I first purchased it and its appetite was voracious as a fry. I can see something very similar with my jewel cichlid's development, however my juvenile firemouth has hardly grown at all in four months. Is it normal for firemouths to grow that slowly?

Re: Firemouth growth rate

Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:10 pm

Jewel cichlid and convict are fast growers at early stages. I haven't had any FM in almost 20 years, but what I do remember of their growth rate is that they grow a little slower to begin with but over the course of 4-5 years it can end up being pretty similar. All these fish, convicts, jewels, FM, and rainbow cichlids can grow to around 6" for males, with the jewels being a little lighter as they are not as deep bodied as the others. FM and Rainbows have females that can exceed 5" where as convicts and jewels, it is very exceptional for a female to even reach 5".
Some claim 7" for both convict and FM. That would be very exceptional size. I have yet to see these sizes demonstrated on the internet. One claim of 7" for a male convict with a picture beside a tape measure had 1/2" of tape measure before the mouth starts as well as not quite lining up with the 7" mark. Might be 7" but based on the picture, shows 6 1/4" to 6 3/8". Also it's a specimen with a flared tale. Even wild caught convicts vary considerably in the type of tails. It's a polymorphic characteristic, as even from the same collection point, there are all sorts! I had one male pink con with a flared tail measure 6 1/4".....and I think I've had at least 1/2 a dozen male cons over the years that were considerably larger that measured 6". Just one of the pitfalls of using total length as a posed to standard length, I suppose. Actually weight is a better indicator of size, though i think using both is better yet. The only picture I have seen with tape measure beside an FM and a claim of 7", again the tape was not lined up with the start of the fish. At least 1/2" before the start of the mouth so based on the picture apears to be no more then 6 1/2". Easier said then done, lining up a flopping fish with a tape measure. Also bear in mind that it is generally exceptional specimens that an aquarist would go to the trouble of catching the fish and placing it beside a tape measure and take a picture of it (though I have been doing it with all my fish for 10 years now).
Anyways, IME there are so many factors in growth rate, that it is really hard to state anything concrete in terms of what growth rate you should expect. Though often, IME, if a fish grows slower during one period, it makes up for it at some later stage.

Re: Firemouth growth rate

Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:49 am

I really appreciate the comment. I feel much better about my scrawny firemouth now.
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